(11.30am, Saturday 15 November 2014, Oxford & Napier Streets, Paddington)
Thank you, Stephen, [Gilby] and good morning everyone. Welcome to the official opening of this important civic and recreation space.
With its large paved areas and beautifully landscaped gardens, it's now become a useable and appealing civic space, one that I hope will be used by residents, students, workers and visitors to the area and help renew the life of Oxford Street.
Well-lit pathways and noise-reducing timber screens make it a more comfortable place to inhabit, while the concrete seating divides the refurbished public domain from the new gardens, which blend figs with other native plantings.
This $1 million upgrade - to a design by Oculus - relates well to its neighbour, CoFA and we now have a great local meeting point that will also double as a venue for all kinds of social and cultural activity in the years to come.
The platforms raised above the fig tree roots can be used for community events, while steps at the eastern end of the reserve provide better access to the intersection of Oxford Street and Greens Road.
In 2011, we asked local residents and businesses about how you thought the area could be used, and your ideas and comments fed into a draft concept plan and later in 2012, a developed design.
So thank you for your input and I'm sure that you will all be pleased to have this terrific new space as a focal point for this community.
I'd also like to acknowledge and thank:
- Oculus Landscape Architecture for the design
- Hargraves Urban, our contractors
- Tree iQ, our aborists
- Northrop Consulting Engineers
- Light Art and Science for the lighting design
- Andrew Chippindall, Mark Brandon and Stephen Merchant from the City Projects team.
You have all done a fantastic job. Thank you.
Thanks also to our team for their work to improve George Clark Community Park. Officially it's known as the Selwyn Street Closure, but in 2007, I unveiled a plaque dedicated to that great urbanist and local community member, George Clark.
We've brought it up to the sort of standards George would expect by removing a redundant path in the north lawn area; installing rough-cut sandstone around the inside edge of the gardens; putting in fences at each end of the garden areas to stop people using the gardens as a shortcut and putting in shade-tolerant turf.
This has really lifted the appearance of the gardens and is adding better green space to the area, so please enjoy it!
Now I'd like to unveil the plaque and officially open the Napier St Open Space.